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UNO Chemist Gets $405,000 NSF Grant to Continue Cultivating Microscopic Peas in a Pod
By Admin (on 7/28/2014 @ 13:36:28, in ORSP Announcements, read 844 times)

A University of New Orleans chemistry professor has been awarded a 3-year $405,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support his research of fabricating microscopic structures that mimic peas in a pod.
John Wiley, a professor of chemistry and the associate director of UNO's Advanced Materials Research Institute, began the research in 2011.

These very tiny—also known as nanoscale—structures are about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. They consist of chains of particles (the peas) surrounded by a ceramic-like sheet (the pod).

The research could lead to advances in developing new optical, electronic or medical devices with particularly promising applications in using sunlight to convert water to hydrogen gas, a clean fuel source, according to Wiley.

"This new funding will allow us to examine putting different combinations of peas in the same pod," Wiley said. "The ability to organize small scale objects into ordered arrays is important to the development of new technologies."

The ongoing project also contains an educational component; undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students will be involved in all aspects of the research and local high school students will participate in the research during an annual summer program.

Wiley's research in this area received initial funding from a Louisiana Board of Regents Post-Katrina Support Fund grant.